by Camille Colter, Office of Sustainability
Making waves is something Katherine-Anne (KA) Davis is used to. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, KA is a surfing and warm weather lover. She became a student at Auburn University last year and is majoring in Apparel Merchandising with a minor in Sustainability Studies. She is involved on campus in the Student Government Association (SGA), the Apparel Merchandising and Design Association, and was an Ambassador for Swatch, the Apparel Merchandising magazine.
KA has always loved SGA since being involved in her high school’s organization. She loved being in a leadership role, so when she saw an opportunity to join Auburn SGA’s Freshman Forum, she jumped on it. Being in Forum was an amazing experience for her, but she recognized opportunities for improvement, which led her to continue her involvement. She was appointed as the Director of Sustainability this year and hopes to continue in this role next year. Her goals associated with this role are to communicate to students all the things Auburn is already doing to be more sustainable and that sustainability is not an all-or-nothing endeavor. For example, she suggests to her sorority friends to borrow a dress when they go to formals instead of buying a new one every time. She also recommends that students use reusable utensils when getting a GrubHub order instead of the single use plastic ware. Stop by our office for your own set of free reusable utensils. KA emphasizes that small changes make a big impact when we all do them. She also hopes to work with the Office of Sustainability to promote to students all our office is doing and the events we are having.
KA’s sustainability journey started in high school when she took AP Environmental Science and her dad created a sustainable farming community. Both encouraged her to get involved in sustainability and ignited an interest in sustainable fashion. The summer before ninth grade, KA went to Haiti and met a girl who wanted to be a fashion designer. On this trip, she began to recognize the inequalities faced by women in other countries and the opportunities she had that they did not. When used clothes from other countries are sent to Haiti, it causes local women who want to design and make clothing to struggle to make an income. This situation frustrates KA, and as she says, “whatever makes you angry is probably your purpose in the world.” KA believes she is lucky to have access to education and wishes to one day work in a role reforming clothing design for women in developing nations.
Currently, to be more sustainable, KA takes actions like thrifting and supporting local businesses. She loves going to farmers’ markets and local art markets to support the vendors. KA’s biggest hope for the students at Auburn is not having an all-or-nothing mindset about sustainability. She wants people to be aware of the opportunities already available to make a difference and better understand some of the ways they are already sustainable. Change starts when we all work together, and KA wants to unite the student body to make a positive impact on our campus and in the world.
Learn about the SDGs & AU and our contributions related to this post.